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At the Sixteenth Annual Symposium on Philanthropy in August 2003, scholars, donors, fundraisers, and other practitioners came together to discuss and reflect on issues facing donors and donees in the philanthropic relationship. The authors is this volume examine subjects ranging from the role of ethics in philanthropic agencies to challenges in giving, financial and grant-making skills, how to transform philanthropy, the importance of the estate tax, intergenerational learning and volunteering, and the health benefits of giving. The common focus is on the role of and value of philanthropy throughout the lifetime and across the generations.
This is the 42nd issue of the quarterly report series New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising.
Editor’s Notes (Dwight F. Burlingame).
1. The inheritance of wealth and the commonwealth: The ideal of paideia in an age of affluence (Paul G. Schervish)
It is estimated that the largest transfer of wealth between generations in history will occur by the mid-twenty-first century. The most widely quoted authority on this transfer discusses how heirs, soon to become ancestors themselves, may become discerning souls, capable of charting a financial and philanthropic journey tailored to their times.
2. The moral case for the estate tax (Andrea K. Pactor)
The moral case for and against the 2001 repeal of the estate tax was the missing element in the debate on this highly charged issue, Pactor argues. Philosophical underpinnings gleaned from a half-dozen philosophers—more so than statistics and dollar amounts—advance the case of the estate tax as a moral imperative for a just and decent society.
3. Responsible grant making (Paul L. Comstock)
A meaningful due diligence process that precedes grant making does much more for family philanthropies than simply produce responsible grants. It can also enhance financial stewardship, foster personal growth, and lead to responsible behavior in all aspects of life.
4. An altruistic reanalysis of the social support hypothesis: The health benefits of giving (Stephanie L. Brown)
Is helping our loved ones an evolutionary adaptation that is good for our own health and well-being? This review of recent studies suggests that view as an interpretation for altruism and hypothesizes implications for how we care for those closest to us.
5. Intergenerational service learning and volunteering (Donna M. Butts)
Butts asserts that where civic engagement is concerned, we need to move beyond traditional thinking—that older people are our past and younger people are our future—and focus on re-creating service opportunities to capture the power of young and old as volunteers and philanthropists. Service learning opportunities can embrace the “bookend generations” if they begin to use an intergenerational lens.
6. Tracking giving across generations (Richard Steinberg, Mark Wilhelm)
This chapter reviews data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS), in which questions about philanthropy are asked of families who have been surveyed by the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics since 1966. The COPPS component, added in 2001, intends to study the same families’ philanthropic behaviors throughout their lives.
7. Transforming philanthropy: Generativity, philanthropy, and the reflective practitioner (James M. Hodge)
Hodge provides thoughtful reflection on philanthropy as a powerful source of meaning in our lives. Fundraising practitioners, he urges, need to become moral trainers who, instead of scheming for benefactors’ gifts, start dreaming with them, sharing stories of progression toward transformative philanthropy that changes lives.
8. Leadership in emerging family philanthropy (Lorna M. Lathram)
Philanthropists in the emerging stages of developing their giving require assistance—in achieving the right mix of control and flexibility and in defining the work to be done and the vehicle to accomplish it. The Foundation Incubator works with individuals, often entrepreneurs with wealth from the private sector, who are making a life change to philanthropy as their new work.
9. Paved with good intentions (David H. Smith)
In this chapter, Smith affirms what he calls authentic giving while acknowledging the priority of justice over giving and pointing out the moral ambiguities that can attend philanthropic giving.